Getting consumers to upgrade to ultra-high-definition televisions has been a tough sell, but LG Electronics is doubling down, saying that 60 percent of its new TV lineup will accommodate 4K resolution. The South Korean electronics firm unveiled five new 4K ultra HDTVs on Monday, ranging from 55-inch to 77-inch models.
Powering those TVs is organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, which generates its own light, allowing the displays to show a higher dynamic range of colors and blacks, according to the firm. LG is the only global manufacturer that can make OLED-powered screens, and it's investing heavily in the technology in 2015, with $600 million in new production facilities around the globe. But in contrast to bullish predictions over the past few years, LG is keeping its expectations modest, saying it anticipates moving 1 million OLED units by 2016.
On the physical display front, the company has continued its push for flexible displays, offering a wide variety of television configurations from those that are permanently curved to those that can be curved or straightened on the fly. Under the hood, the technology of LG’s 4K ultra HDTVs are powered by WebOS 2.0, an updated version of the software suite acquired by LG from Hewlett-Packard in 2013.
The new operating system features a simplified user interface, 4K video streaming and two times the performance of the previous WebOS, according to LG Electronics. To demonstrate the capabilities of its new television sets, LG has partnered with Netflix, which is working to add high dynamic range content to LG TVs in 2015, according to Greg Peters, Netflix' chief streaming and partnerships officer.
LG expects more 4K content partners in 2015, including DirecTV, YouTube and Vudu. Overall, the 4K ultra HDTV market is expected to grow 153 percent from, 13 million to 32 million, according to market projections from DisplaySearch.